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addiction, nursing, stigma



  1. Mundy, Lawren WHNP-BC, MSN


Abstract: Addiction is widely recognized as a health problem with increasing prevalence. Treatment programs are growing in number, but many forms of addiction remain high and some lack treatment regimens. The total costs to society for addiction treatment programs and associated complications are staggering and continue to rise. This illuminates how frequently individuals affected by addiction encounter the healthcare system. Stigmatization or social disqualification of individuals affected by addiction is an increasing phenomenon in the healthcare arena. The negative consequences experienced by persons affected by stigmatization may include limited access to health care, poor health outcomes, prejudice, and other social disadvantages. The focus of this article is to examine addiction and stigma as obstacles to accessing and obtaining quality health care. It introduces the phenomenon addiction-stigmatized. This concept was developed to increase nurses' awareness and knowledge of the negative effect stigma has on the health of individuals with addiction.